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Agent of Change Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2002
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About the Author
Maine-based writers Sharon Lee and Steve Miller teamed up in the late 1980s to bring the world the story of Kinzel, an inept wizard with a love of cats, a thirst for justice, and a staff of true power. Since then, the husband-and-wife have written dozens of short stories and twenty plus novels, most set in their star-spanning Liaden Universe®. Before settling down to the serene and stable life of a science fiction and fantasy writer, Steve was a traveling poet, a rock-band reviewer, reporter, and editor of a string of community newspapers. Sharon, less adventurous, has been an advertising copywriter, copy editor on night-side news at a small city newspaper, reporter, photographer, and book reviewer. Both credit their newspaper experiences with teaching them the finer points of collaboration. Sharon and Steve passionately believe that reading fiction ought to be fun, and that stories are entertainment. Steve and Sharon maintain a web presence at http://korval.com/ --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Thus starts the very first Liaden Universe(r) novel, and from that first sentence, I was hooked. I originally read this novel back in the 80's, and watched eagerly for each new one, but then when I got my Kindle, I went to the Baen site and bought every single one to reread the series. Unlike some of my other earlier favourites, the Liaden books have very much stood the test of time. Agent of Change has action, excitement, buildings blowing up, strange and wonderous beings (Clutch Turtles? What genius to make turtles into heroes!) and love and romance. But what it has most of all is characters you care about. And a consistent and believeable universe.
So, take a look. The first one is free, and after all, it never hurts to look, right?
Except you will be hooked.
We meet a man, who initially appears to be a wet operator or an assassin (but who is revealed to be something much stranger, very fast). He meets a woman, who is in deadly trouble (more deadly than initially appears), and makes a strange decision: he helps her. They share trouble, they (as I mentioned above) set an apartment on fire, and go through a very strange courtship while dealing with the threat. Make no mistake: there's plenty of action and adventure, but there's also a very strong romance subplot involved (one that will shock some feminists, I must add, by certain specific issues involving informed consent I won't spoil you with).
The voice of the book, and indeed most of the series, is rather unique and, at least to me, very pleasant. The various languages of the characters are indicated by the style of English used by the authors, and at least the Liaden speech (which is the native tongue of the leading male character) has many pleasant quirks.
Fair warning: these authors have a tendency to end their books in cliffhangers. This book is no exception. If you end up liking this book, you will likely want to read the whole seven-book Agent of Change sequence that this book begins. Beyond that, the series includes other sequences centering on other characters, and (in some cases) other eras, which are excellent reading as well.
BUT, there is mystery, emotional and sexual attraction, bravery, friendship, honor, humor, lots of action, hairsbreadth escapes and a flawed hero and heroine. The quality of the writing is exceptional, the characters very appealing and the editing is impeccable. There were no distracting typos, poor grammar, wonky type fonts or other publishing faux pas.
The hero, Val Con, is a former scout, re-trained as an assassin. The heroine, Miri, is a former mercenary and unemployed bodyguard, running from the interplanetary mafia. How they meet and end up helping each other, rather than killing each other is touching and entertaining. They become allies, then friends, then lovers. All while fighting for their lives, integrity and (in Val Con's case) sanity.
Usually, I am irate if a book is not "stand alone" and even more so if it ends in a cliffhanger. This series is so good, I don't care. I cannot wait until my check comes, so I can buy the rest of this series. It is amazing! What are you waiting for???!!! This story is free right now. GET IT!!!!
This is the first book in the Liaden Universe you should read. It can stand alone but you'll want to devour the others as soon as you can. Val Con and Miri are likeable, exciting well imagined characters whose action packed love story satisfies. He is a super-spy and she is a highly trained forer mercenary. They are strangers at the beginning of the story, both in deadly danger, who team up for mutual protection even though each is more used to working alone. By a combination of skill and luck they overcome all odds and find that together they are 'hell on wheels'I
The book introduces the reader to Val Con's Clan 'Korval' and begins to describe the highly structured society of Liad: a society neither Val Con nor Miri embrace and the other We also meet the alien 'Turtles', a highly evolved race who have adopted Val Con, the Juntavas, a criminal organization and the dreaded Xtrang.
I have read and reread this and its sequels (and prequels) numerous times enjoying them even more each time. The universe is credible
...and the opening sentence is a classic! Strongly recommended!